happiness

Laughing Out Loud

Have you ever had one of those moments when life feels so great that you just want to smile, and laugh out loud?

I had one of those moments last week when walking on St Catherine's Breakwater in Jersey. After a stressful few weeks it felt great to just be in the fresh air and walking. I could see the French coastline in the distance ... it was Glorious! 

I've always loved St Catherine's, not just because it's also my name, but because when you walk the breakwater, it feels like you're stepping into the ocean. The breakwater is about half a mile (700metres) long so a stroll to the end and back is about a mile and it's an easy walk. Even if it's busy you feel like you're getting away from it all and it always fills me with joy, whatever the weather.

The other day spring was in the air, the sea was calm in the bay, the sun was shining and there was a bit of of breeze on the coast. As I walked to the end of the breakwater, it felt a little more windy, but I was bundled up against the chill and it was exhilarating. When I reached the end of the breakwater, looking out to sea across to the French coast, I breathed in the clean air and my heart began to soar. I found myself laughing out loud.

Now, I don't often film myself, let alone when I doing something like smiling and laughing, but I did switch on the phone-camera the other day. It's nearly a month ago that I finished work with the BBC and started a New Adventure as a freelance writer/broadcaster/PR and communications expert, and lots of my friends and family members have been so kind to check on me from time to time, to see how I'm doing. So I sort of wanted to show them not just the beauty of St Catherine's, share some sounds of the ocean, which I find so relaxing, but also that I'm doing ok in my New Adventure!

There's a quote which sums up the benefits of laughter for me and which is attributed to the English poet, satirist and politician Lord Byron, who died on this day in 1824. I'm not going to talk much about him today ... I may do that another time ... just to say he was a bit of a character, to say the least. I remember studying his poetry at school as part of our exploration of the Romantic poets of the late 18th/early 19th century, and learning about some of his physical and romantic antics! 

And from what I discovered he was a bit of a 'lad' and certainly enjoyed life.

So I can imagine him saying something like this ...

Byron laughter
There's loads of science which indicates that smiling and laughing is good not just for our physical but also our mental health. So today I hope YOU find something which makes you Laugh Out Loud!

And if you want to smile with me ... here's my moment at St Catherine's ...

Have a great day everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Makes me want to smile!

Today is the start of the Easter season ... yes I know we think Easter was yesterday - and it was. Easter Sunday, the day we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

But actually, it's the start of a Christian season - sometimes also called 'Eastertide' - which runs now for 50 days right through to Pentecost Sunday!

Easter coincides with a beautiful time of year. Spring is a time of such hope, optimism and new life, isn't it?

It makes me want to smile and laugh out loud.

Last year we got a bunch of flowers for Easter, and this little chap was in the arrangement!

Hope it makes you smile too!

Have a great day!

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To Do List

It's a busy old week ... so much to do, so little time to do it all in.

So today I'm just giving myself a bit of advice to help me get through.

If you're having a stressful week too, I hope this helps! 

 

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Happy Talk

I was listening to the radio the other day and heard a song which brought back so many memories.

First, this version of 'Happy Talk' was released in 1982, the year I left university and started work.  It was a time of great excitement and promise - my whole life lay ahead of me.

Second, it was sung by a chap called 'Captain Sensible' - it was an ironic pseudonym because he was far from 'sensible'. He was not just quirky but rebellious. He had set up the punk band 'The Damned' which had been one of the soundtracks to my late teens.  

South PacificAnd finally, this quirky song wasn't an original. It was actually a tune and a song from a brilliant musical, a stage show called 'South Pacific' which premiered on Broadway in New York 1949. In 1958 it was made into a movie of the same name and by the 1970s I was listening to the soundtrack and learning all the songs.

Interesting point here - we didn't have a 'South Pacific' LP or vinyl record. We actually had the movie sound track on a reel-to-reel audio tape recording which we played on a tape machine. So I listened to 'South Pacific' accompanied by the whirring sound of the tape running through the machine. Classic.

And I hadn't even seen the film! It was years later, maybe a few years after Captain Sensible sang that song that I would have hired a VHS from 'Blockbuster' ... the video hire shop. It's the way we got to see loads of movies at home at the time. 

 'Happy Talk' was always one of my favourites songs from the show - it's sung by the character Bloody Mary and that was the nearest I got to using a swearword when I was a child! I knew it off by heart, so when Captain Sensible appeared on BBC Top of the Pops - I could sing along.

And the words I loved the most?

You gotta have a dream, if you don't have a dream, How you gonna have a dream come true?
If you don't talk happy and you never have a dream, Then you'll never have a dream come true.

It's nearly 40 years since Captain Sensible released 'Happy Talk' and around 50 since I first learned those words. It still rings true for me. 

Be Happy. Talk Happy. Have a Dream! Or maybe ... more than one!

As I said before, in 1982 I was standing of the threshold of life and was at the start of my career as a journalist with all the excitement of what could be. Some of my dreams - personal and professional - have come to pass, others not. 

These days I'm nearer the end of my full-time working life but I'm still excited about what might be. Later this week I will start a new adventure, as I leave working for the BBC and go back to being a freelance writer/broadcaster/PR + communications 'guru'. More of that later !

And although it's a bit scary ... I'm excited.

And I have this song going round in my head. 

Which for me is a GOOD thing! It makes me smile!

 

 


I Wish You .....

At the start of the working week ... I wish you all this and more...

I wish

*thanks to Robert A Ward for these amazing thoughts!


Be Happy!

Are you feeling happy today? Be happy

I hope so ... because today is ... the International Day of Happiness !

This is not just something that some whacky person thought up on the spur of the moment to make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It's part of a growing recognition at the highest level that happiness is very important to the human condition and to the progress of our cultures and societies and even our economies.

It is the United Nations International Day of Happiness. Back in July 2011 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution which recognised happiness as a “fundamental human goal” and called for “a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes the happiness and well-being of all peoples”. In other words, to progress as a global community it's not enough to have economic success. We should also be about increasing human happiness and wellbeing.

WOW!

All 193 members of the UN adopted the resolution calling for happiness to be given greater priority, and International Day of Happiness has been celebrated around the world since 2013. Every year a World Happiness Report is published on March 20th, which is always a great opportunity to see where YOUR country lies in the 'list' of happy countries, or not so happy nations, as the case may be.

But it's not just about governments. Happiness is down to each one of us. In ourselves and in our communities.

Every year on the International Day of Happiness, we're invited to take some positive steps to help create happiness. But perhaps THIS year it's even more important than before.

After the year we've had with the coronavirus pandemic, it's easy to feel rather depressed isn't it? Many of us have struggled with our mental health, what with all the lockdowns and personal and economic/business challenges we've experienced. Some of us have struggled to stay happy, and I think for some of us, our concept of happiness might have changed. 

Maybe in the past we thought we were happy when we were travelling, going to parties, buying stuff, being recognised, having career success, promotion and status. Perhaps these days we're happy just with a walk in the countryside or on the beach. Seeing members of our family with whom we've have little contact for months. Just knowing we are staying safe and our loved ones are well. For me, these concepts and feelings have replaced much of the 'doing and having' happiness of the past.

And today, as we think about the International Day of Happiness, we've got lots of help to refocus our minds.

This year the group Action for Happiness, which is a non-profit movement of people from 160 countries supported by a partnership of like-minded organisations, is reminding us to Keep Calm. Stay Wise. Be Kind.

  • Keeping calm will always take the pressure off. We're reminded that there are so many things outside of our control, but if we remember to focus on what really matters to us, the stresses may reduce. 
  • Making wise choices will help. We'll improve our own well-being and that of others around us if we choose positivity and positive thinking and actions, rather than negative ones.
  • Yesterday we were thinking about being kind to each other. Action for Happiness also encourage us to keep in touch with others and reach out to help people in need. To 'stay connected'
 
So ... question is ... what makes us happy? How can we stay happy and encourage and promote happiness?

Here are some more ideas from the International Day of Happiness website which has 10 great points to help us develop happiness, especially in these coronavirus times...

  • Let's stick together (to beat covid)
  • Follow World Health Organisation (WHO) advice
  • Attend a Happiness Day event (virtually)
  • Stay Social (online)
  • Be Kind, share and say 'Thank you'
  • Stay active and be mindful
  • Be optimistic, positive and resilient 
  • Stay informed about facts and news
  • Enjoy nature
  • Adopt 'HAPPYTALISM' .. which is all about thinking of ways we can change systems to ensure we never again have such an awful pandemic. It's about looking at new economic models and, as the United Nations resolution encourages to do, to think of the well-being of people as much as we think about economic success

Don't you love that ... HAPPYTALISM rather than CAPITALISM?

On this International Day we have a whole 24 hours to think about happiness but hopefully, if we're just starting out on this journey, what we learn today will transform tomorrow and tomorrow's tomorrow.

And .. for those of you who know me well, you might have guessed already that I have song for you ... and it IS an obvious one. Love this song!

Happy International Day of Happiness !

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

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We’re all in this together, even when we’re forced apart. Let’s stay connected and reach out to help others who may be in need.